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Latest Posts

Insurance Rules And Overprescribing Expensive Drugs

I have yet another example of how third party insurance rules obstruct efficient patient care. I was asked to see a patient with fibromyalgia who was asking about about the drug Lyrica she heard about on television (one example of how direct to consumer marketing increases health care expenses).  Lyrica is about the only medication approved by the FDA to treat fibromyalgia.  I don’t know if it really works or if it’s just an expensive placebo effect.

Maybe fibromyalgia is all in the head, and that’s why this medication works.  I don’t really care.  I know it’s FDA approved, which means it has more going for it than most pharmaceuticals used for off label purposes.  At least doctors who prescribe Lyrica for fibromyalgia aren’t going to get charged with homicide for prescribing medications for unapproved reasons. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist Blog*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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